12 Steps for Creating a Digital Assignment or Hybrid Class

I’m often asked about new technology to offer faculty for use in their classes.  The first answer is number 3 below – best to use tools with which we are already familiar.   If the technology isn’t transparent, then it becomes the focus instead of the pedagogy or the content.  In this article from Jesse Stommel via Hybrid Pedagogy about Creating a Digital Assignment, he offers many great ideas (as always.)  But on a fundamental level, we often can’t get past the concept of anything minimally digital if the trepidation of a new tool gets in the way.


“Questions I ask myself when creating a digital assignment or hybrid course:

1. What is my primary goal for students with this course / assignment?

2. What is my digital pedagogy? How does my goal for this assignment intersect with my broader teaching philosophy?

3. What tools that I already use analog or digital could help me achieve these goals? It is often best to use the tools with which we are already familiar, rather than turning to the shiny and newfangled.

4. In order for this activity / class to work, what gaps do I need to fill with other tools / strategies?

5. Is my idea simple enough? What can I do to streamline the activity?

6. What is my goal beyond this assignment / course? How will the activity and my pedagogy evolve? In other words, don’t feel like you have to meet all your goals during the first attempt — think of the process, from the start, as iterative. Think also about how you can bring students their feedback and the fruits of their work during the first iteration into the continuing evolution of the activity / course.

7. Go back to step 1 and work through these steps and likely several times.”

via 12 Steps for Creating a Digital Assignment or Hybrid Class | Digital Pedagogy | Jesse Stommel  .

College on the Cover: Doom and Gloom Through the Decades


Higher Education’s disruption – whether or not a college education is worth the investment – what jobs, if any, are available for graduates – these issues seem timely.  In reality the same themes have emerged repeatedly over the years, albeit with different twists.  Magazine covers over the past few decades remind us.  From The Chronicle.  “Bold commentary on the state of a college education more often, on its shortcomings has a long history on American newsstands.”

via College on the Cover: Doom and Gloom Through the Decades – The Ticker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Sense-making and sharing

Personal knowledge mastery is about much more than watching relevant feeds on RSS, networked learning, or keeping up with new developments in your field.  Meaning-making, or what Harold Jarche refers to as Sense-making, is necessary to use that knowledge properly.  Sometimes we find things we want everyone on our team to know.  Are they receptive?  How do we know who to share new knowledge with?  It is one of the most difficult parts of being a networked, lifelong learner in a workplace.  People have other things to do, urgent things to take care of.  Harold refers to “too much noise” – how do we avoid becoming noise as opposed to a signal?   “If you only seek new information and knowledge for yourself, without spending time to make it personal, you will not advance your own growth bottom left. If you keep your knowledge to yourself, you will not be viewed as a contributor to any knowledge networks, and will miss out on learning with and from others, especially professional colleagues bottom right. However, if you share indiscriminately, you will be creating too much noise, and others will ignore you top left. The journey to personal knowledge mastery is finding the right balance between seeking, sense-making, and sharing top right. There are many possible practices in this quadrant, but each person must find his or her own way.”

via Sense-making and sharing.

How Do We Define and Measure “Deeper Learning”?

When we read about deep learning in recently published articles, it is often not about people learning, rather it’s about teaching machines to think more hierarchically or more contextually – to see a picture of amole, for example, and work down from recognizing the features that comprise an animal to recognizing the specific features that make it a mole (GigaOm.)  This article from Mindshift expands on meaningful deep learning for people.  It is contextual, and enables learners to make connections by understanding deeply.  “Simply defined, “deeper learning” is the “process of learning for transfer,” meaning it allows a student to take what’s learned in one situation and apply it to another, explained James Pellegrino, one of the authors of the report. “You can use knowledge in ways that make it useful in new situations,” he said in a recent webinar. “You have procedural knowledge of how, why, and when to apply it to answer questions and solve problems.””

via How Do We Define and Measure “Deeper Learning”? | MindShift.

2014 survey shows again that company training/e-learning is the least valued way to learn at work

WorkPlacelearningskillsThis chart shows the types of learning that were valued most in 2014.  Most interesting that Knowledge Shared with Team and Web Search for Resources are at one end of the spectrum (positively) while e-Learning is at the other.  Thanks to Jane Hart for her annual research.  “What does this mean for L&D departments? It suggests the focus of their work should be in the areas that are seen as high value, e.g.supporting knowledge, sharing across the enterprise, developing self-service resources, offering and guiding group learning opportunities, and building the personal and social learning skills that will ensure all employees can thrive in today’s workplace.”

via 2014 survey shows again that company training/e-learning is the least valued way to learn at work | Learning in the Modern Workplace.

Instant Gratification is Good For You: Lessons for Education

Contrary to popular belief, instant gratification can be a good thing.  Getting instantaneous feedback for our actions is good for us, especially in education.  Newer educational environments are more engaging than slow environments of recent years.  Social media, mobile gaming, and texting – while all addictive – give us immediate feedback and structuring learning activities in those ways is just what educational environments need in order to evolve.  Via Big Think.  “In most areas of life, feedback is either nonexistent or delayed. Throughout much of our education it takes days or even weeks for us to determine whether or not we did our homework assignments correctly. We’re at the mercy of our overburdened teachers, and receive feedback only when they’re able to grade our assignments. Tests are similar. It often takes two weeks for tests to be returned, at which point we can see what we didn’t quite understand. Each of these feedback gaps is an impediment to learning.AdvertisingThis is where technology can help. Much has been written about the digitization and gamification of learning. Technologists have painted a picture of the world in which students receive instantaneous feedback for their work inside of a digital whiteboard or classroom — allowing them to quickly correct their mistakes and improve. Others have written about education as a game, in which students gain points and move up levels depending on their performance.”

via Instant Gratification is Good For You: Lessons for Education | WikiMind | Big Think.

Academic Branding – Your Online Presence, By Design

Establishing an online presence as an academician increases dissemination of research and improves impact.  It also allows for discovery of others with similar interests, potential collaborations, and richer knowledge construction.  This is how PLNs are born and expanded.  The presentation below by Sidneyeve Matrix is full of excellent suggestions.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,076 other followers